The Use of Weblogs in Higher Education: Benefits and Barriers
Sergio Luján-Mora, Susana de Juana-Espinosa
Proceedings of the International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED 2007), p. 1-7: IATED, Valencia (Spain), March 7-9 2007. ISBN: 978-84-611-4517-1.
(INTED'07) Congreso internacional / International conference
Weblogs are personal web pages written in chronological order and maintained through a specific software that helps their administration. From an educational point of view, weblogs are the development of traditional learning logs for students and teachers, whether as a complement to traditional lectures or as a e-learning tool. The importance of these applications has increased due to the changes in the classroom dynamics that Bologna will bring shortly to the European Higher Education Area, which entail the substitution of conventional education for autonomous learning. Also, the number of Open Universities and virtual–environment courses offered by traditional Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), potential users of weblogs, has boosted in the last decade. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the scarce knowledge that HEIs have regarding the functionality of weblogs as tools for enhancing the teaching-learning process, specially in terms of identifying the barriers and benefits that the deployment of these tools may present. To do so, both a theoretical and practical approach have been employed. First, the paper establishes an explanation about the anatomy of weblogs. Second, possible uses of weblogs in HEIs are discussed and classified according to the users’ perspective. Finally, from these experiences, the main benefits provided by weblogs are shown, as well as the possible barriers that may jeopardise its use.